Fi­nally get­ting to grips with the Du­cati

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Motogp Preview -

North­ern Ire­land’s Eu­gene Laverty is fi­nally start­ing to come to grips with his As­par Du­cati af­ter one of the most dif­fi­cult pre-sea­son cam­paigns imag­in­able. First Laverty broke his wrist af­ter only a hand­ful of laps at Jerez in the fi­nal test of 2015, be­fore los­ing most of the Sepang test af­ter a stuck throt­tle and then brake fail­ure forced him to jump from the bike at high speed, dent­ing his con­fi­dence fur­ther.

Yet de­spite the set­backs he be­lieves his poor re­sults through­out of­fi­cial test­ing will have no bear­ing on his race pace once the sea­son starts.

In the fi­nal round of test­ing in Qatar, Laverty re­ceived a very wel­come con­fi­dence boost, just when he needed it most.

“It’s a big re­lief to fall in love with your bike again. Not en­joy­ing rid­ing; that’s never hap­pened me be­fore. On the last day in Qatar I felt re­ally con­tent and we were push­ing on. I re­ally tried for a lap time us­ing a new tyre and all I could do was 1:57.1. That was the limit. I was think­ing ‘s**t, where’s the 1:56 at here, never mind the 1:55?’”

“Af­ter that we worked on the set­ting and I be­gan to un­der­stand. Now I’ve stopped the front tyre slip­ping so much, I’ve stopped it jump­ing. It’s amaz­ing how you get used to a sen­sa­tion like that, when the tyre is slip­ping and mov­ing. All of a sud­den we fixed it and now it feels how it should!”

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